Lessons, musings and advice from the author of ‘The Life I Won’
I know you are thinking, what the heck is she talking about today, but stay with me, I have a point.
I wanted to talk to you about resilience, but in a slightly ‘different than the average bear’ kind of way.
Here is what the dictionary according to Google says…
I loved the second description so much I decided to steal it with pride and use it in my title. When I think about my own journey over the last 12 years since I hit rock bottom in 2009, I think that I am the object and my ability to spring back into shape gives me an elasticity rating of about 80%! I like the thought of being elastic instead of tough. Tough sounds harsh and elastic sounds all bouncy and fun! Sorry but that is just where my creative brain takes me.
The ability to never give up or give in, to grit our teeth and keep going no matter what life throws at us is epic. As women (sorry, not sorry guys), we are hardwired to be able to overcome real adversity. We go through the highest level of pain known to woman to give birth and then do it repeatedly. We keep going for our children and often go without ourselves for them to have what they need. We sacrifice, we find solutions based in empathy and love and we will fight like a lioness for those that matter to us. WOW we are amazing!
BUT… we then go on to compare ourselves in a ridiculous way, unrealistically and allow this to impact on our self-worth!
Well, today I want to help you to improve your elasticity rating so that you can bounce into 2022 with clarity and intent.
I am going to bet that you use the following descriptive words more than you need to: JUST. ONLY. EMOTIONAL. BOSSY. PUSHY. WORKING MUM.
Or maybe you have been described by others in the following way: CURVY. VOLUPTUOUS. WHINGING. SHRILL. HYSTERICAL. HORMONAL. HIGH-MAINTENANCE. AIRHEAD.
I have stopped my clients in their tracks on so many occasions when they have used ‘I am just an artist’ ‘just a mum’ or I ‘only make £400 per month’ or even ‘I am too emotional around money’, ‘I am a working mum’ or my husband says, ‘I am bossy or pushy’. WHAT!!!!
Let me tell you this lady, you are more than just anything, you are not only a mum or only a crafter and your emotions are a superpower. Being a working mum is amazing and special, when do you hear men described as ‘working dad’s’? And if he thinks you are bossy or pushy it’s because he is lazy and can’t communicate!
The second set of words are ONLY used to describe women NOT men. Curvy or voluptuous have sexual connotations and are never used on men. If a man is complaining, do you say he is whinging or shrill? Do you think that if men had periods instead of a constant focus on their penis, we would dare to call them hysterical or hormonal? What about the guy who does nothing but watch football and drink beer, does this make him an airhead or high maintenance? It bloody well should, but we just don’t use these words to describe men and we accept them as part of our narrative.
No wonder we talk ourselves down from our brilliance and greatness.
How you speak to yourself is a big part of your resilience. When you can speak in a more positive way to yourself and not accept the negative words of others you are building your elasticity rating instead of becoming saggy.
Ping those words back where they belong and take ownership of your own self talk. Talk yourself up not down and start to recognise your uniqueness and power every day. Stand in front of the mirror and say out loud ‘hell girl you are one sexy, savvy businesswoman’. Tell yourself that the £400 a month you make right now is the start of something BIG. Acknowledge that you are an amazing artist, and the best mum you know. Most importantly you are NOT a working mum, you are an entrepreneur with a big idea who just happens to have children.
Your words hold power so be mindful of them and use them to underline NOT undermine.
To become elastigirl you need to become comfortable with failure. Men tend to fail, shrug, and move on, whereas women feel the pain of failure more deeply. We take it personally and feel ashamed and embarrassed about things that our male counterparts would think insignificant.
When I had to go to the bankruptcy court I was mortified. I was ashamed and thought everyone would be looking at me and talking about me. Yet so many of the most successful male entrepreneurs of our time have been bankrupt more than once. Start a business, borrow lots of money, screw it up, go bankrupt, start again!
We are wired differently to men, and we feel more, this can be a gift and a burden. But if you want to improve your elasticity rating you need to be able to face those feelings and keep going.
If I had to go bankrupt again now, I would just do it, brush myself off and start again (bounce)!
These are learned behaviours and reactions brought about by research, talking, and sharing my story.
You see your elasticity rating is directly connected to your network, your growth, your self-development, and self-investment.
Do you think a man wonders and worries over investing money in his personal development? Nope, he just sees the skills gap and pays someone to help him get over it. He doesn’t worry about if the kids need shoes or his mother’s birthday coming up, he sees the direct correlation between the investment and his ability to earn more or nail a promotion.
Our resilience is connected to the investment we make in ourselves and as women we need to get better at this to build up that elasticity rating. I described my rating as 80% and I genuinely think it now increases at a smaller rate the more I know, and I don’t think any of us get to 100%. Nor should we because there is always something new to learn, but when you are at 80% and 12 years ago you were at 20% then I am happy to say I have achieved great things and intend to keep going.
What about you?